DOT Proposed Speed Limiter Plan Losing Momentum

SunsetThe U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) issued a proposal this summer for equipping commercial vehicles with speed limiting devices. DOT believes the new safety measure will provide two major benefits: saving lives and reducing fuel costs. The idea is that driving at slower speeds will reduce crash severity. It also reduces fuel consumption, which could save upwards of $1 billion dollars.

However, once DOT opened the proposal to public discussion, they faced major backlash. The loudest dissidents are the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) and the American Trucking Association (ATA). The single largest issue both associations target is the lack of universal speed limit for all vehicles.

As the ruling stands now, only commercial vehicles weighing in excess of 26,000 pounds will have the speed-limiting device. This means other passenger vehicles will be traveling at different speeds than the commercial vehicles. Both organizations point to research that indicates one of the major reasons behind increased crash rates is speed differentials between vehicles. The organizations also point out that DOT failed to provide data that supports their proposed speed limits – 60, 65, or 68 mph – or why any of those options will statistically improve crash rates.

It is noteworthy that the ATA petitioned for speed limiting devices. However, they refuse to endorse DOT’s proposal in its current state. In response to these concerns, DOT extended the comment period an additional 30 days. This extension should give all concerned parties time to gather their data and submit their suggestions.

While DOT has delayed the proposal, it is by no means off the table. Motor carriers and fleet managers need to stay abreast of the latest safety regulation to remain compliant. Contact Three Points Insurance to learn more.